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Combat Sandwich: WildStar's Excellent-Sounding Abilities

Skills that actually take a degree of skill to use? Imagine that!

I am so very, very tired of quest-kill-collect MMOs. For the longest time, I figured I’d never really dive into another after having cured myself of The Craving with WoW, Tera, and countless F2P spins on the tried-and-tired formula. But now along comes WildStar, and it refuses to stop creeping onto my radar, leaving sci-fi anime bunny prints all over my pristine, MMO-free glass. It’s the details that count here, and I keep coming away thinking, “Golly gee willikers, that’s a right smart game tape Carbine’s got there, yes indeed-y.” And then I think, “Why am I thinking like that?” But then I go back to admiring WildStar for things like its varied, hyper-involved ability mechanics, which sound like the sort of no-brainer other MMOs should’ve come up with ages ago.

The short version? That combat system looks fantastic. Between afore-demonstrated targeting cones, hyper-mobile dodging, and now ability mechanics that actually involve you in combat, there are so very many wonderful ideas on display here. 

A lot of it really does boil down to such simple things. Tapping furiously to eek out a few extra dual-pistol blasts, holding down a key to decide the duration of an attack on the fly, or holding until the last possible second to unleash what you can of an attack before a hair’s breadth dodge. Basically, it’s less about robotically ability bar tapping squares and more about reacting with both your wits and your reflexes.

I’m still not entirely sure I’m up for 60 hours of questing and leveling, but these systems make it sound like significantly less of a chore. WildStar’s world looks like a vibrant, just-cartoony-enough place to explore, too, so it’s got me intrigued – if nothing else.

It’ll be out early next year. Are you feeling both wild and star enough to handle it? Or have you sworn off all things massive, multiplayer, and RPG until, say, EverQuest Next?

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Nathan Grayson

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